"The International Symposium for the Symbiotic Relationship
Between Human and Animals@2002"
Symbiosis of Human and Animals and How the Administration Should Be
People have maintained various relationships with animals since the remote past. While people's living environments have remarkably improved with the advance of material civilization, people are seeking in pets what cannot be satisfied by spiritual culture. Also, the philosophy is becoming increasingly strong that animals are not subordinate to people, but they are on an equal footing with people as life born on the earth.
This trend is illustrated by the movement in the United States to call your pet a companion animal, and by the regulation regarding the dignity of animals enacted in Germany under the federal basic law.
In Japan, the law for animal protection and control was recently revised and it is now in force as a law for animal companionship and control. The new law gives special consideration to animal life and symbiosis of people and animals. With this law, we now expect that the administration in Japan will consider more careful measures for the welfare of pets and other animals.
In this symposium, I wish to investigate administrative policies the Japanese government and local self-governing bodies are executing in comparison with Western counties, and inquire into future challenges and measures for improvement.
Name Yuji Tanahashi
Date of birth October 13, 1934
Legal domicile Gifu Prefecture
March 1958 Graduated from the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law
April 1958 Entered the Ministry of International Trade and Industry
June 1991 ~ June 1993 Adviser, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry
June 1991 ~ February 1995 Adviser, Research Institute of Trade and Industry
February 1995 ~ June 2002 Full-time adviser, Industrial Bank of Japan
April 1997 ~ June 2001 Professor, Doshisha University Faculty of Law
August 1997 ~ June 2001 President, New Energy Foundation
June 2001 ~ present President and representative director, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd.
Masumi YOSHIDA, Chairman, Research Institute for Pet Policy
Kazunori SUZUKI, President Japanese Society of Humane Care of Animals
It gives us the greatest pleasure to have this opportunity to hold The International Symposium for the Symbiotic Relationship Between Human and Animals as the law for animal companionship and control come into force and symbiosis of human and animals is becoming a matter of importance. Over again, we feel the importance of the mission we should perform as a person engaged in studies and tasks concerning pets. Pets are no longer mere animals that people pet unilaterally (self-righteously). They are partners of your life, your friends and members of your family. Through interaction with pets, people feel the pleasure of living, and learn the preciousness of life and the strength of influence the pure spirit gives to people.
We often use the phrase, dumb animals. Although means of expression may be different, animals, especially pets tell us various things. At least, they do not tell a lie like people do. With the help of science and through affectionate interaction, we can understand many of the words that they express. That is the threshold to symbiosis of people and pets. Of course, there are number of tasks we need to accomplish for people and pets to live together symbiotically. This is obviously shown by the history and the present situations of Western counties that are considered more advanced than Japan in terms of pet welfare. Since the Meiji era, Japan absorbed knowledge and technologies of Western countries aggressively in commercial and industrial areas, and accomplished a remarkable economic growth. Recently, there is a shift in our sense of values from material to spiritual affluence. We now need to look at things from a different point of view, and think again if there is anything to learn from individual lifestyles of people in Western countries. There are, of course, both successes and failures in Western countries. Also, there are things we should and should not adopt. In either way, what is important for us is to know, think and act. Together with the enforcement of the law for animal companionship and control, I sincerely hope that this symposium contributes to the betterment of pet policies in Japan, to the advancement of symbiosis of human and animals, and to the realization of community open to pets.
As a conclusion, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the help of many people who supported this symposium, especially to Mr. Makoto Hirano and Nestle Purina Pet Care that provided all the funds for this great symposium. Thank you.
The Symposium Coordinator Point of View
I. Pet Administration: From Negative to Positive
"The Law Concerning the Protection and Control of Animals" in Japan has been changed and retitled to "The Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals". Various new systems and strategies have been enacted to change both the attitude and the relationship between Government officials and the rights, protection and management of animals.
In founding this new law, an end has been put to the conventional activities of pet administration, which, for the most part, have been seen, as overly negative. In place of the former activities, positive steps have been made to enact a more productive system, which intends not merely to manage with administrative directives, but also to enhance the lives and living conditions of animals and pets in Japan. The new laws also give special consideration to the interaction between animals and humans by carefully examining the symbiotic relationships, which reinforce the desire to keep animals in human proximity.
In the current stage, it is too early to draw any definite conclusions about the new system of administration. At this moment, however, the differences between the new animal management system and former protection-based institution are significant. There are still quite a few issues which will continue to be observed and a number of principles yet to be tested. It is important to note, however, that a critical turning point has been reached. As the differences between the present and formers system are great, it remains unclear what degree of reassessment and repair to the new system will be required. In time, there will, no doubt, be necessary alterations in policy and organization of the agencies, however it seems clear that overall, the new policy of Humane Treatment and Management of Animals is a positive step in the right direction.
Compared with the former "Law Concerning the Protection and Control of Animals", it is expected that the new "Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals" points to much more positive pet administration. Consider the following points:
1 The spirit and basic principles of the new law may be summarized with these statements: "Consideration for the life of an animal" and, "Consideration of the symbiotic relationship between people and animals".
2 Activities to spread enlightenment and education about the new animal protection and proper animal management policies are not restricted to a mere "Be Kind to Animals Week", but expanded to include frequent educational opportunities on an everyday basis.
3 New regulations on businesses, which deal with animals, now include various animal handling activities, pet shops and even specific requirements for dealing with certain specific animals. Increased authority granted to newly formed animal protection agencies to establish their own guidelines for personnel who specialize in animal protection and to include support from other private talented individuals and organizations. Until the new laws came into effect, the agencies had no particular authority to formulate these types of policies.
4 The new law has enabled the agencies to provide advice and regulations concerning the living environment. When a person is found to be violating the rights of the community by improper care or uncontrolled multiple breeding of their pets, the administration may now act directly to either issue a warning or formulate some order of action to control the situation.
5 Enhanced promotion of animal protection and proper animal management techniques through a newly established "animal protection promotion member program". These programs offer a means to better utilize the talents and skills of private individuals. This program, which has only been newly introduced in the current system, provides both an increase in agency skills and an increased level of community support and involvement.
6 The penalties for animal abuse or abandonment have been increased dramatically.
Even though the Institutional and Legal framework has been established by top level Legislation, the issue of pet administration is now assigned to a self-governed agency, which is able to determine its own fundamental direction regarding pet policies. May these new views and systems established only in accordance with society? Can a self-governed organization maintain a positive approach under the animal protection method of administration? It is not an overstatement that only confrontation has been conspicuous until now.
How exactly should the agency make practical use of the civilian talent that is available? How far may it be utilized for effective pet administration?
While endeavoring to maintain the positive approach, the self-governed agency has felt the severe limitations of their role as administrators. At the same time, they are acutely aware of the necessity for the practical utilization external resources provided by talented civilian members of the community. Additional pressures related to lack of appropriate budget for staff or facilities and the possibility of facing even further cuts in the future. It is then imperative that large expansion of the role and cooperation of the private sector are called for, more than ever, under the "Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals".
In Practical matters, like the need to take over a dog or cat, the various personnel, such as the animal protection specialists, the protection surveillance members, etc., must all exhibit a unified professional behavior. That is, the entire organization must be characterized by a Òsingular core efficiencyÓ. This emphasizes the potential meaning of the role of the Private sector. The private role is possibly so large that it cannot be compared to the previous system. In fact, it is likely that the private sector would best perform its duties by taking the leading role.
Recently, not only in instances related to animals and pets, activities related to an NPO are likely to attract attention (as does an NGO on the international level). If you consider the changes in structure, which have been noted above in a broader framework, the role of the private sector may naturally, become more important in all fields of responsibility in a country or society. While we speak now of this as a pattern for the future it is a pattern derived from a comparatively earlier society. The current "Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals" is to a certain extent reflective of that earlier flow of society.
Keeping these ideas in mind, we also realize that our new system and policy is still unlike the animal protection policies of other advanced nations in the world. This is true on the level of pet policy as well as policies involving animal protection in general. The issues surrounding NPO in our country are still immature; they require careful development. As the "Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals" continues to develop, we must also build up a healthy environment for the training and development of NPO on the local and national levels immediately.
II. Practical Utilization of the Talents and Capabilities of Civilians.
If we consider that pets are the animals that have the closest relationship with people, it is very easy to understand that problems with pets are closely related to everyday life. Although taking only a few daily cautions may easily avert problems, a serious situation, unchecked, may even destroy a local community. In order to avoid such a situation and to realize a mature symbiotic relationship between society and our pets, it is very important to deepen the understanding of residents regarding the importance of enforcing the appropriate animal management. The most important goal is to obtain a position of credibility in the community by correctly identifying problems that are critical in a particular region, thereby creating a close and confidential relationship with the residents of that locality.
While carrying out the education and publicity work for residents, it is necessary to recognize the differences between a position, a profits situation, and opinion, and specifically dealing with differences in position as a priority. If there are specific facts and signs, such as animal abuse, abandonment, or uncontrolled breeding, they must be recognized immediately and suitable specific measures need to be taken to rectify the situation without delay. There are still a lot of things to consider while constructing the system. However, if the agency confines its activities to the issues which are rooted in the everyday functions of the local area, facilitation of transfer of private sector capabilities to the community as a whole will become its most fundamental and important activity. The animal protection promotion membership is the key. They are assigned and backed up by the "Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals." We need to pay attention to them and how they are treated, because there is a concrete role assignment, and definitions of the methods of cooperation, they will develop the policies that build up the entire system. The program must be well integrated with the intent of providing a framework for the entire organization that must be constantly maintained and systematic solutions must be devised immediately to reconcile a wide selection of potential problems and issues. The Law omitted clarification of the exact legal status, or even the role to be played by, the animal protection promotion membership. Therefore, the Agency needs to exercise extreme caution and proceed with care in all matters, lest the opportunity to employ this method of administration be rescinded in the future.
Although there is some variation from area to area, in general, the local government shares responsibility with veterinarians groups and NPO for Animal Protection. Big problems might arise when the NPO for Animal Protection maintains weaker authority compared to Local government officials and veterinarians groups. In order to provide service in the sanest and most health conscious manner, the balance of power and responsibility is actually distributed among three points, thus, creating stability.
Activities of American and European NGO and NPO are mostly supported by private donation and contributions from inheritance. In Japan there seems to be no particular analogous situation. Therefore, in addition to promotional campaigns to enhance public awareness and (nationally targeted consciousness reform) participation, other support structures such as a major systematic reform of the taxation system (e.g. tax incentives for private donation) will have to be immediately devised and implemented.
There are a number of considerations to be faced in the selection and training of talented private sector individuals. The outlook for selecting and training candidates from the private sector can be optimistic. Persons who are interested in animal protection activities are not few; also, there are a significant number of individuals who wish to attend a school to obtain the necessary credentials and qualifications. Of course, all qualifications are issued by private sector organizations, however the government will continue to certify animal doctors. It seems not to be a problem. Consider the situation where persons who are acquiring qualification normally proceed to various activities related to pets, thus, playing an appropriate role in animal protection and proper animal management promotion. It will be very important for the future of pet administration that the young person who has zeal and talent in animal protection and proper management techniques performs suitable activity continuously as a lifework. However, in order to provide this kind of continuity, the livelihood of the individual engaged in pet-related activity must be strengthened, and the organization that may become the receptacle for those persons must be built.
The training of each talented person and the training of the entire organization are the foundation upon which the administration depends. If either training program lacks sufficient substance, the main activity of animal protection cannot be performed.
So far the discussion of animal administration authority has been focused on activities performed by government administration, the society for Animal health, and the NPO for animal protection. In addition to those three authorities, additional directives from pet-related industries and an academic research organization will be formulated. This system of the "Five Different Groups" will serve to strengthen and mature the policy guidance procedure. Among the "Five Different Groups", however, the NPO for animal protection, the pet business industry and the research academy, tend to be weak. These will need to become more influential. By increasing the ability to achieve balance between the five Groups, the functionality and efficiency of the entire pet administration authority will be enhanced. The greater effect is achieved mostly by allowing the mutual checking of each action, encouraging cooperation as partners, and specific assignment and allocation of roles. As a result, each action will be healthier and all pet problems will be able to be settled in the most systematic and effective way.
The issues related to pet administration are quite new. The system is not yet organized well and there will be many arguments about the ways and means for cooperation, and discussions of the adequacy of the intended actions and role assignments. It will be necessary to engage all of the "Five Different Groups" to check each plan for soundness and efficiency. This will be a good opportunity to demonstrate the powerful application of the "Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals."
III. Cooperation And Role Assignment by the "Five Different Groups"
In other advanced countries, such as in Europe and America, interoperation between administrative centers, as previously described, has been successfully employed for quite some time and carries a significant historical precedence. It has been established that sharing the assignment of responsibility among various policy centers is a superior method of administrative management. The central government is thus, enabled to create and enact policies which have a national impact, as well as, provide a local framework within which the local administrations may act. At the same time, the local administration is enabled to provide immediate feedback and proposals about its own unique situation in turn to the National Level. This strategy is repeated multiply with each section of the total administrative organization, so that, while strictly enforcing policy decisions, they may be building effective cooperation with private organizations. Those private organizations, in turn, are able to participate in role assignments and further cooperative efforts. Meanwhile, the common target of the law builds up a true organization, whose goals are to create a better symbiosis with animals and to constantly recreate itself as a better animal management organization. The administrative authority that is built in this way contains both a system of internal checks and balances, as well as an internal cooperative network.
In the case of our Country, there are even more obstacles which must be overcome. Except for the relationship that currently exists with the animal health authority, there is neither a concrete idea for building a cooperative relationship with the private sector, nor the fundamental intent to do so. Under the previous law, for animal protection, there were only a few outlets for talented civilians. An event of the "Animal Protective Council" or "Be Kind to Animals Week" or any kind of practical central operations should have been conducted as a joint effort of the central government and various private authorities. Unfortunately that schema was not workable, due to the attitude of the central government. Under that system, the entire focus was on administrative efforts, which ironically, were not necessarily effective. Under those circumstances, it is not surprising that the "Animal Protective Council" and other such organizations were, for the most part, inactive.
Presently, it has reached the point where it is possible to note some considerable change in attitude on the part of the administration with regard to the main issues of pet protection, and animal breeding and management. As noted above, that is not the entire problem that is facing the present administration. At this moment there seems to be insurmountable circumstances concerning finance and staffing deficiencies that impede the progress of the policy reforms and radical systematic changes that are not only desired, but also required.
There is an additional need and expectation for a major role that must be played in the future by an affiliated academic society. Unfortunately, we have only just started this process, and there has not been sufficient time, capability, or initiative to proceed on that project. Regardless of the circumstances, it is still necessary to urge for the prompt and rapid development of a public animal administration or public pet authority and a reform of the pet laws. Despite a certain stigma involved in academic cooperation with the government, (a Japanese term describes the relationship between academia and the government as "business scholar" or when derogatory: "scholar under the government's thumb") positive progress must be made to conduct official studies and devise appropriate corrective actions. It is now time to immediately dispense with these prejudices, especially, as they do not precisely refer to our present system and requirements.
Sometime during in the latter part of the 1960's, the cooperative system of industry and university in Japan became extremely limited. The level of cooperation at that time exceeded that of some more proper relationship. That particular system became the object of severe criticism. If we are to optimize the merits, there are many issues to resolve related to cooperation between industry and university beyond the differences that exist. It is important to maintain a proper perspective and realize that this is a new time, a different situation. While maintaining the recognition of the differences between the former issues and the present situation, it is easy to realize that the cooperation in these matters is beneficial to society as a whole. In the limited scope of managing the relationship between human society and animals, there are not few issues where the University and Business should be working together.
Activities related to disseminating information regarding proper care and breeding, medical issues associated with common infections of humans and animals, and increasing the symbiosis in general, are just a few examples of the possible research activities which might be undertaken by a joint industrial/academic society. The resulting information would not remain confined to industrial and academic utilization, instead it would manifest as useful and positive data for furthering the cooperative efforts discussed above. Unhappy relationships between business and academia from the past must be forgotten, they were not able to positively participate in joint activities. The Animal Health Authority, the Protection and Promotion organizations, the research Foundation, the private sector, and the public need to construct a new cooperative model. These alliance activities are in every way a positive step. At this moment, legal authorities are questioning the viability of the proposed cooperative system and have made some calls for further consideration. The expectation is that the "Animal Protective Council" will take a leading role in forming the necessary alliance and directing the activities. If they cannot find the way to proceed in an expedient manner then we must propose the immediate formation of a "Pet Problems Conference" which may continue to examine the state of the problems for the time being. The membership of this conference will recruit key individuals from the "Five Different Groups".
IV. Correspondence to International Society
Thus far, the discussion has dealt mainly with the issues as domestic problems. Now, consider the reform of administrative structures as a means of strengthening of international policy, as well. Traditionally, Japan has been a country that has not been particularly active in the formation of world Policy, especially regarding animal policy. Seen from the viewpoint where policies that were initiated were often criticized, and jurisdiction itself has not been consistent; correspondence with the international society has been difficult at best and often overdue.
Organizationally, Ministry the of the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries are at the center, however, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and Ministry of Education, the Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, may become involved in any issue, depending on the problem and the jurisdiction. Problems with cross-ministry management came to light when BSE, popularly known as "Mad Cow Disease", was detected in Japan. Dual management problems, which arose between the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare during that time, are only the tip of the iceberg. There is now an opportunity for reexamination of the problems five years after enforcement of the new law; "The Law for the Humane Treatment and Management of Animals". This will be an excellent opportunity to check and reform the issues related to jurisdiction. The solutions should not be restricted only to problems such as BSE, but should consider thoroughly the proper internal and international relationships, how to manage the jurisdictional duties, and how to act decisively in the resolution of disputes. These reforms are potentially even more critical to the future as issues involving wild animals are increasingly of interest in the international community.
From the viewpoint of the private citizens, there are many problems in areas not supported by NGO. As is apparent in other fields, as problems arise, the role of the NGO becomes much more important, therefore, it seems natural that animal management related NGO will also become more powerful here from now on. Currently, the most famous animal protection group in the world, although engaging in various demonstrative activities in this region, does not necessarily view the regional affiliate as an equal and active partner. Because of the high price of staging activities in our country, Japan has become a last priority for these international organizations. They instead target other areas for the propagation of activities and spread of philosophy. This is another example of the phenomenon known as "Japan Passing". An animal protection organization has an important role to play and must observe the trends set by the international organizations which are concerned with animals, however, if we suppose that it is not sufficiently capable, some trouble may arise with the policy decisions made about international problems.
When the animal protection organization reaches a peak in its activities, the information that it passes will be very important. This will be the case with the particular issue of Whaling; in the future we will be able to take appropriate measures. Please do not interfere with our intended course of action.
In other advanced nations of the world, a majority of families keep pets. There is a certain manner in keeping pets just as there is a certain manner in eating a meal. In this sense, keeping pets becomes one of the manners of society. That which occurs at the private level has direct consequence to the societal level. It seems that even in our country, the time has come to introduce these precepts gradually as a basic condition of the cosmopolitan lifestyle. Presently, the outcome of the present policies to synthesize a system of knowledge from the collective worldwide pet information is not clear. On the other hand, regarding the matters that have been discussed above, the conversion of the directives into viable laws and policy is assured.